It has come to the attention of Isodiol International Inc. (CSE: ISOL) (OTC: ISOLF) (FSE: LB6A.F) (the “Company” or “Isodiol”) that an anonymous author by the fictitious name “Grumpy Bear” has posted a lengthy article on the website www.seekingalpha.com that is intended to disparage the Company by any means possible. While Isodiol has a general policy of not responding to anonymous media and online postings, this particular article is the first of its kind, has had wide dissemination, and has a misleading air of credibility due to the website where it was posted.
We wish to be clear. The author is not credible, and the article is not credible. The author has written four articles under the Grumpy Bear alias, and each one appears timed to an artificial sell-off in the stock of the target issuer for the benefit of a specific short-selling fund group. There also is evidence that suggests the real people behind the Grumpy Bear alias have engaged in similar tactics for the better part of the last decade under other aliases, two of which have resulted in several hundred million dollar lawsuits against the fund group.
Moreover, the article was not written to journalistic or regulated research analyst standards and has no such integrity. Other than scattered facts with citations to voluntary public disclosures by the Company and certain other limited public information, the article is fiction. The fictional and defamatory nature of the article also is why the true identity of Grumpy Bear is concealed by use of an anonymous third-party e-mail server based in Switzerland. Isodiol intends to pursue all available legal remedies against the author and these artificial short sellers.
Despite the negative tone of the article, Isodiol is very proud of the Company’s many accomplishments the anonymous author seeks to disparage, such as its extraordinary expansion into nutraceutical-grade cannabidiol (CBD) manufacturing in China and pharmaceutical-grade CBD manufacturing in the United Kingdom. Isodiol believes it is the industry leader in the high purity CBD sector and is the only publicly traded company in the sector with the ability to manufacture pharmaceutical-grade CBD with a purity of 99.5% or higher with consistent composition at commercial scale. This is a remarkable accomplishment. Let me say that again. This is a remarkable accomplishment!
Isodiol is in an industry that is not only new to the general public, but it also is rapidly evolving and highly regulated. These factors require Isodiol to remain agile and modify aspects of the Company’s business strategy from time to time based upon changes in the law, new market entrants, and our breakout successes. Many people within Isodiol’s management have been in this industry since its inception, and Isodiol has leveraged that experience to stay in front of trends and new developments, as well as to hedge against regulatory uncertainties. All the while, Isodiol has made these achievements as a publicly traded company with routine scrutiny by the government, shareholders, and our business partners. Isodiol strives for transparency at every level, and our stakeholders rightly demand it.
It is no secret that Isodiol’s founders and key personnel were pioneers in medical marijuana. They helped establish the entire industry. Many of those early efforts came at a reputational cost, both by unintentional association with unscrupulous people and by missteps. There were no academic courses on the business of medical marijuana when Isodiol’s management entered this industry. Until the recent enactment of Section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (a.k.a. the “Farm Bill”) regarding industrial hemp, it could be argued that the entire industry was illegal as a matter of federal law. We believe it would be unfair to criticize the efforts of those people who paved the way for us when they laid the foundation for most of our opportunities.
With that premise in mind, it is worth noting certain falsehoods in the article that simply misrepresent what and where the Company is today. For example, the article incredulously draws attention to the Company’s founders, Jared Berry and Ray Grimm. Those individuals were instrumental in establishing the Company’s foothold in the industry, but they are no longer involved with Isodiol on a day-to-day basis. In addition, the notion that Mr. Berry participated in Isodiol’s recent acquisitions in the United Kingdom and China is pure conjecture and is false. All transactions with the Company are at arms-length unless there is specific disclosure of a conflict of interest that is required by law.
The author also seeks to cast aspersions on our company’s Chairman, who was instrumental in taking Isodiol public and facilitating many of the transactions that currently comprise the Company. That is why he is the Company’s Chairman. Several people in our Chairman’s family also are successful business people and have assisted Isodiol in its efforts from time to time. Those people are compensated accordingly, and all compensation is subject to scrutiny by the Company’s Board of Directors and securities regulators and is publicly reported.
Other members of the Company’s management were not spared the author’s ire and were defamed largely based upon their prior employment history. Notably, that employment history demonstrates that Isodiol’s management has been at the forefront of the medical marijuana industry since its inception and know the industry better than or as well as anyone. Pioneers often make mistakes, and experience is not a shortcoming.
The author anonymously contacted Isodiol with questions prior to publishing the anonymous article. However, the questions had an obvious negative intent, and many of the them solicited inside information. Suspecting the true identity of the author and his motives, and being unable to disclose inside information the Company considers vital to its competitive edge, Isodiol declined to respond. Isodiol also did not have an advance draft of the article or an opportunity to comment prior to its posting.
The Company respects public opinion and is mindful of its true mistakes. However, Isodiol is undeterred by the fictional musings of an anonymous poster who we believe serves the interests of short sellers who wish to undermine our operations and artificially diminish shareholder value. Isodiol is working diligently on many initiatives that we believe will elevate the company to new heights in the industry and greatly appreciate the ongoing support of all of our stakeholders.
Yours very truly,
Chief Executive Officer